Luxury phonemaker Vertu shuts shop

Moneycontrol News

Vertu, known for its high-class, jewel-embedded handsets has shut shop. Vertu, a luxury brand, was founded by Nokia in 1998. The brand provided luxury phones to celebrities. The phones were an expensive commodity, sold in boutique stores in posh neighborhoods.

The phonemaker was expected to maintain its legacy for years, with its hand cut-leather and precious metals.

A technology analyst, told BBC that Vertu faced competition from companies trying to follow a similar business model, by embedding jewels in handsets.

Vertu models carry heavy price tags. These phones cost £11,000 and one model having 18-carat red gold costs £39,100.

In March, the company’s Chinese owner sold it to Hakan Uzan, a Turkish living in Paris.

The Daily Telegraph reports that he had planned to pay £1.9m to bring the company out of administration, but it had an accounting deficit of £128m. Uzan will preserve the brand, technology and licenses.

Ian Fogg, an analyst at IHS Technology, told BBC that, “It is very unusual, they hand make the phone at incredibly low volumes and they were incredibly high-priced.”

He also talked about Vertu’s recent phones. These phones had synthetic sapphire for screens – similar to iPhone’s plans for Apple, but later scrapped the idea because of issues with production.

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